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Posts : 66
Join date : 2011-09-18
Location : London, England

PostSubject: Tallit   Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:34 pm

Are there any female converts here who currently daven while wearing a tallit? I bought one around 7 months into my conversion as I felt really drawn to wearing one - now I only wear it during Shacharit at home, but have considered once or twice wearing it in synagogue.

If you have worn it in shul, what has been the reaction of your community? Did it draw unwanted attention to you, or was it welcomed? My own shul is Liberal but also has a strong traditional streak - currently my Rabbi is the only woman who wears a tallit during services, even though the Liberal movement is in full support of women donning tallitot and kippot during prayer if they want to. A male convert in my shul actually encouraged me to wear it, and I did wear it during my admittance ceremony, along with my kippah. I really enjoy wearing both as it allows me to make a transition from a normal state of mind to that of prayer, and helps me with kavanah.

I just want to make sure that I'm wearing both for spiritual reasons rather than simply feminist ones. I'm not wearing either to be "like a man" or because I'm a crazy feminist. Even though I do have feminist leanings, the intention of me wearing them goes far deeper than that. I genuinely feel obligated in wearing a tallit.

My Rabbi was thrilled when I wore both, as it's just not done in our shul, especially not by regulars.

What's your shul's attitude towards women adopting the tallit and/or kippah?

Last edited by Samantha on Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Posts : 30
Join date : 2011-09-19
Location : China

PostSubject: Re: Tallit   Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:50 pm

I have a tallit and wear it pretty much daily- when davening at home (I lay tefillin, too) and when I'm at shul, unless it's an Orthodox one, in which case I would put it on at home before going to services, make the bracha, say the Shema and Amidah to fulfill my obligation and then go to services. I bought my tallit at a Jewish bookstore in the D.C. area shortly before my beit din- from a Yeshivish salesman, no less. I wasn't sure what to expect from him, but he was really helpful and cool about it. He also helped me find the right tefillin paint to fix some chipped spots on the baatim of my tefillin. I didn't tell him I was a convert, but even a woman buying that stuff, while it took him aback a bit, didn't seem to bother him (though he did ask if I was a rabbinical student!).

At my shul in the States, I would say at least fifty percent of the women wear talleisim and nearly a hundred percent wear kippot. Of the women who are regulars, probably seventy-five or eighty percent wear a tallis, and about fifty or sixty percent lay tefillin at weekday morning minyan. My synagogue is extremely supportive of women adopting these mitzvot; I'm pretty sure a tallis and kippah are required if you're going on the bimah, and I've never gotten any weird reactions for wearing either. When I went to High Holy Days at a Masorti shul in Australia, fewer women were wearing talleisim, but no one acted like it was weird or anything for those of us who did.

My rabbi, thankfully, was very egalitarian; when I asked him about if/when I could learn to put on tefillin, he got out a pair on the spot and showed me, then sent me home with them to practice. The prospect of taking on wearing a tallis wasn't even a question, really. And while I am a feminist (in the sense that I think men and women should have equal rights and opportunities), and I'm not ashamed to say so, that's not what drove me to put on tallis and tefillin. I find that both elevate my kavanah when I daven. Though if I'm being honest, I also think that if we as Conservative Jews believe that halacha is both binding and egalitarian, then women should be taking on these mitzvot if we're really going to walk the walk.
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Join date : 2011-09-05
Age : 36

PostSubject: Re: Tallit   Thu Dec 15, 2011 12:01 am

I don't wear one or own one. I just really don't feel obligated, I guess.
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